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Protecting Kids When Parents Are Arrested [AUDIO]

The welfare of children whose parents or guardians have been arrested is the focus of a bill being introduced in the state legislature.

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jail cell
Andy Sacks, Getty Images

Assemblywoman Marlene Caride‘s (D-Ridgefield) proposed legislation would require child protection services to be notified whenever a suspect is the parent or primary caregiver of a child.

The purpose would be “to ensure that child is properly placed, be it with a biological parent who is not being arrested or a family member,” Caride said, “and if that situation is not safe, for them to take that child and place them somewhere else.”

Caride’s bill stems from the death of a 4-year-old New York boy, Myls Dobson, who was killed by his father’s girlfriend after being left in her care.

“The father was in jail and the care of the child was left to the girlfriend, who pretty much tortured that poor little boy,” Caride said.

The bill, which has been referred to the Assembly Human Rights Committee, would require that police notify the Division of Child Protection and Permanency of a child’s location, if their parent has been arrested. CPP would then have 24 hours to conduct an investigation of the home.

“While I understand that child protection has their hands full, this falls within their realm of making sure these children are protected,” Caride said.

If no parent or family member is available to care for the children, they would be placed in an appropriate foster care home.

“You want to keep the kids with their families, but by the same token, you want to keep them in a safe environment as well,” Caride said.

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